I am a huge fast food fan. As a kid it was always a treat food, something we longed for and every so often got. In fact my favourite day of school out of all 13 years was the day my Mum woke me up early and whispered “come on, let’s get McDonalds for breakfast”. This was unprecedented behaviour from Mum and for the mini-runawaykiwi, who at eight already hated school, it was like a dream. Nowadays I can realistically get fast food whenever I want, but in my head it’s still a treat that should be savoured every so often. And the best bit is that these days, if you know where to go, fast food comes with cocktails.
In London it’s the dirty burger which had really made an impact, a burger that couldn’t care less about calorie count and is focused on a greasy flavour punch. The hero of this genre has to be MEAT Liquor, a darkened haunt just behind Debenhams on Oxford Street. There are no plates here (much to the consternation of the people eating next to me), just burgers wrapped and dumped on a tray.
I started with a couple of very strong Summer Loving cocktails, don’t let the name fool you while they may taste as sweet and fruity as can be but I almost fell off my chair they were so strong. So strong in fact that at the end of the meal I accidentally tried to pay with my Art Fund card and had an argument with the waitress about why they wouldn’t accept it …oops.
The burgers are as I said before everything that is good, messy and in no way in the right part of the food pyramid. I went with the cheese burger and basically inhaled it while being watched mournfully by an owl overhead. Screw the owl, this kind of burger doesn’t stand on ceremony it’s just there for the messy messy eating.
If you go you have to take my advice and order the fried pickles. I know, it sounds weird but it is the best fried thing I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The sour crunch cuts through the salty batter like an unexpected dark comedy.
The only thing to watch out for at Meat Liquor is the whisper gallery. If you sit in the right seat at the round centre table, and someone with the right pitched voice is talking at a side table you will hear every word reverberated off the curved roof. You feel like you are going ever so slightly mad as you hear voices out of nowhere, but it sure does add an extra element to dinner.